Tom Sullivan

Tom Sullivan lives and works by “Sullivan’s Rules.” Invented by his dad, Porky Sullivan, so young Tommy Sullivan could play baseball with the neighborhood kids, “the rules” became the cornerstone by which the adult Tom Sullivan came to live his life, turning any negative into a positive, turning disadvantage into advantage, playing in every game. In his presentation, Sullivan invites you along on his personal journey of storied accomplishment. Blind since birth, he has achieved a lifetime of goals, becoming a successful as a singer, composer, actor, author and athlete. Never failing to inspire with his story of personal triumph, he helps bring passion and enthusiasm back into people’s lives.Listening to Tom Sullivan is one of the most unforgettable experiences you’ll ever have, like listening to a good friend up on the stage. Investing himself and his own story in every presentation, Sullivan is careful also to tailor his powerful message of hope and possibility for each audience.


Adversity — A Challenge to Opportunity
Most people perceive adversity as a negative human experience. Tom Sullivan uses his life story and his pursuit of excellence as an example of how you can succeed in the shadow of adversity. Tom’s vision has touched audiences everywhere he has spoken.

People and Passion
Human beings seem to be drifting in a period of personal doubt and lack of personal focus, which is not hard to understand in a time of such unprecedented change. Tom believes this comes from a lack of passion in our lives. Tom’s inspiring presentation pumps enthusiasm for personal growth back into the audience.

Y.O.U. (Your Own Uniqueness)
Tom Sullivan believes that every person is special and can express that uniqueness in every element of their lives. From the workplace to the home, from marriage and relationships to personal growth, Tom will impact your audience with his own brand of humor and insight as he reinforces the advantages of your own uniqueness.

Seeing Lessons
In Seeing Lessons’ inspirational 14 Life Secrets, Tom Sullivan shows you how to recognize the defining moments in your life – your turning points – ans use them to become your best self. His refreshing self-improvement program provides a simple road map, encouraging you to tap into your own uniqueness, challenge yourself, and live with passion and a renewed appreciation of life. It reveals how you can live life more fully with all you common senses while embracing the concept of interdependence with your total being – heart, mind, body, and soul. Sullivan explains how by living with pride and loving other people you can bring more meaning and purpose to your life and the lives of others.

Tom Sullivan, known to many as an actor, singer, entertainer, author and producer, lives and works by “Sullivan’s Rules.” As a young boy he found himself fenced in his back yard, but he refused to be fenced in by his blindness. “Sullivan’s Rules” were invented by Tom and his father, Porky Sullivan, so that he could play baseball with the neighborhood boys without the benefit of seeing the ball. It became the most popular game on the block. “Sullivan’s Rules” became the rules to play by in the sighted world, and that meant playing almost anything.

One of Sullivan’s first rules is that any negative can be turned into positive. Born prematurely in 1947, Tom was given too much oxygen while in an incubator. Though it saved his life, it cost him his eyesight. The “inconvenience” of being blind has never kept Tom Sullivan from competing in a world where he realized that to be equal, for him, meant that he must be better. Even as he may have had to change the rules slightly, he has proven that one need not be limited by a handicap, whether it is playing backyard baseball as a youngster or any activity he’s pursued. Tom is an excellent golfer. (“I’ve never seen a water hazard. I always have an open shot to the green.”) He’s an avid snow skier and a marathon runner and has been inducted into the Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

Having spent the early part of his career pursuing his ambition as a singer and composer, Tom started out playing the piano in summer resorts in New England. He eventually gained national prominence with appearances on The Tonight Show, a major recording contract and a steady stream of gigs in Las Vegas and resorts around the country. One very memorable highlight of his musical career was when he sang a moving rendition of The Star Spangled Banner at the 1976 Super Bowl Game Bicentennial Celebration. Although music was his primary focus, Tom’s limitless energy and ambition would combine to lead him into a series of successes in the entertainment industry.

In 1975, Tom’s autobiography, If You Could See What I Hear, co-written with Derek Gill, took him on yet another journey, this time as an author. The story is an inspirational one of Tom’s childhood in Boston, his neighborhood friends and their antics, and lessons along with resulting wisdom from his family experiences. It is also a coming-of-age story of his school days, first at the Perkins Institute for the Blind, where he excelled in everything he attempted, through his college years at Providence College and then at Harvard. Ultimately, it is a true love story about his romance and marriage to his wife, Patty, and the beginning of a family that is to this day the most cherished part of his life.

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